Oh Sees: Face Stabber (Castle Face/digital outlets)

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Oh Sees: Face Stabber (Castle Face/digital outlets)

You have to be dedicated or aurally nimble to keep up with California's Oh Sees who have explored post-punk, garageband rock, psychedelics, prog, jazz-rock, art noise and so much more across more than 20 albums (many under variants of their Thee Oh Sees imprimatur) since that late Nineties.

And done it through a merry-go-round of members with singer-guitarist John Dwyer as the sole constant (who also has side projects).

This time out – over 80 minutes which close with the 20 minute Henchlock, amusingly released as a single – the music spirals off into wah-wah funk-rock like Madchester baggies-gone-tribal (The Experimenter), gloriously driving things which sound like Can on speed, plenty of disciplined hard rock (the title track, the sub-two minute Gholu, the similarly brief SS Luker's Mom and Heartworm), angry prog-fusion (Fu Xi) and worryingly grandiose and self-important prog (the Focus-like Scutum and Scorpius with Tom Dolas' keyboards to the fore).

Then finally the psychedelic wig-out of Henchlock which is perhaps the best place to start and let yourself be taken on the trip back to San Francisco in '67.

Too wide, too long, perhaps even too familiar from other sources, but that's Thee Oh Sees or Oh Sees or The Oh Sees etc for you.

You can hear Face Stabber at Spotify here.


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